In the aftermath of Yohan Cabaye's transfer to Paris Saint-Germain and a derby day defeat to Sunderland, Newcastle United fans have not had many bright sides to look on.
When Montpellier play-maker Remy Cabella revealed that his current coach had told him he could do better than the Magpies, that was the icing on the cake for a club whose recent form has been anything but inspiring.
But there is a silver-lining. Honestly there is. And it comes in the form of a player Newcastle are in possession of...and one who is showing no indication of wanting to leave for one of Europe's heavyweights.
That player is Moussa Sissoko, and in one area in particular, he is outshining arguably the Premier League's best current player.
Playing a key pass is only the first of a two-part action. The second, and more important element, is putting the ball in the back of the net. But if you do not have players to create chances, those chances will not be put away. So as far as Sissoko is concerned, he is doing everything that is asked of him.
As you can see from the table below, the 24-year-old is in fine company when it comes to the top five players for key passes this season.
While Eden Hazard, David Silva and Mesut Ozil are regarded as among the best play-makers in the modern game, Sissoko is rarely spoken of in such company. And yet he has played just one key pass less than the Arsenal man,, just three less than Manchester City's Spanish maestro and just eight less than a player many believe to be the best young player in Europe - Chelsea's Hazard.
|David Silva||Man City||57||15||1,251|
That Sissoko is also level on 54 key passes with Liverpool's Luis Suarez - unarguably the stand-out performer of the English campaign to date - shows just how well the Frenchman has been playing.
So while Magpies fans have had plenty to bring them down in recent weeks, they can look to one player in particular who is matching the best of them.
Currently eighth in the Premier League, it is far from a disastrous season; and if others take Sissoko's lead, it could still end in relative glory.
image: © mikebrown59